Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Corn Pudding

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This Corn Pudding is so delicious and easy to make you’ll want to make it for every family get-together and every holiday celebration.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Equipment:  a blender, 9 x 11 x 2 baking dish, whisk, rubber spatula, colander, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, 1 silicone pad, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
2 pounds of corn, sweet, yellow, frozen, and thawed, (reserve back 1 cup, optional)
3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
6 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup of whole milk (substitute 2%)
1/4 cup of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of butter, melted (unsalted)

Notes:
1). It’s a personal choice to add whole corn kernels stirring them into the batter to give the pudding texture.
2). Using a rimmed baking sheet pan underneath the baking dish slows the cooking process but improves the texture. Not using the pan will shorten cooking time by around 15 to 30 minutes.
3). After 60 minutes, (using a toothpick or cake tester) check the batter for doneness.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with a silicone pad. Place the 9 x 11 baking sheet pan on the pad.

Place the corn into the blender. Add maple syrup, Mascarpone, milk, Kosher salt, cayenne pepper, all-purpose flour, and baking powder. Mix briefly with a spatula to push down the dry ingredients.

Pulse mixture until it begins to come together. Then increase the setting to high and blend until completely smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula add the reserved whole corn kernels, fold the kernels into the batter until combined. Add the 6 eggs, and 2/3 of the melted butter, whisk to combine. Finally, add the heavy cream, again whisk to combine.

Grease the baking dish with the remaining melted butter. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Bake for 60 to 75 (depending on the size and shape of your baking dish) minutes until the pudding is browned and set.

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Broccoli Rice Casserole

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My Broccoli Rice Casserole is a great side dish, wonderful for the holidays, and perfect for family get-togethers.

I’m using a quick-cooking long-grain white (Basmati) rice because it’s my favorite. You could definitely substitute short-grain rice like Arborio which also would be delicious, it’s a personal preference. I’m also using frozen broccoli florets for this dish.

Most Broccoli Rice Casserole recipes call for sour cream, here I’m substituting Mascarpone cheese because whenever I can add Mascarpone to either a savory or sweet dish I will.

One other option I’ve added to this recipe is to add a light sprinkling of breadcrumbs over the top of this dish, totally up to you. Let’s get started.

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Basmati Rice

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Tuscan Soup (6)

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Breadcrumbs

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (2-quart) casserole dish, 3-quart saucepot, colander, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, aluminum foil, medium-size mixing bowl, large mixing bowl, chef’s knife

Note: One bag of rice makes about 2 cups of cooked rice. I made both bags of rice to ensure I’d have 2 cups of cooked rice.

Ingredients:
1 pound (16 ounces) of frozen broccoli florets, thawed, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups of long-grain white rice, parboiled (Basmati, Success Boil-in-a-bag)
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced (substitute short-grain rice, Arborio rice)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, extra butter for greasing baking dish
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of chicken broth/stock, reduced-sodium or unsalted (substitute vegetarian broth)
2 cups of whole milk (substitute 2%)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
2/3 cup of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature (substitute sour cream)
1 cup (8 ounces) of mild Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese mix (substitute sharp cheddar)

Topping: optional
Combine
1/4 cup each of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs and Panko
2 tablespoons of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley for topping (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by buttering the baking dish and placing it onto a rimmed baking sheet pan. Fill a large pot with water. Submerge the 2 bags of quick-cooking rice. Bring up to a boil, add a pinch of salt, cook the rice, according to box directions, only half the time, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, remove the 2 bags, allow the water to drain, open, and dump the parboiled rice into a medium-size mixing bowl. To the same pot of hot boiling water add the broccoli, stir, for 1 minute, drain into a colander, transfer to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

In the same pot, add the butter, onions, and garlic and sweat them for a few minutes or until translucent (you don’t need to develop any color)n add the flour, stir it all in for a minute then add the milk and stock. Whisk well to get rid of any flour lumps and simmer while stirring the whole time until the mixture thickens.

Add the seasonings, whisk them in to combine really well, then add the 2/3 of the cheese and Mascarpone cheese followed by the partially cooked and drained rice and broccoli.

Give everything a big stir (at this point the mixture is runny and that’s exactly what you want because the rice will soak up the sauce as it cooks) pour into the buttered baking dish, cover with foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the foil, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese (this would be the time to add the seasoned breadcrumb mixture over the top if desired) place back into the oven and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot. There you have it my Broccoli Rice Casserole.

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Louisiana-Style Gumbo

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This dish is a labor of love. It’s a dish that took me a while to master. They say, Gumbo is a thick soup/stew that’s usually served over rice, jambalaya is a rice dish that contains the proteins and the vegetables. I’d say Gumbo is the Cajun version of a Paella.

For my Louisiana-Style Gumbo recipe, I’m leaving out the okra. I love okra but Steve is not a fan. If you’re adding the okra in and it’s not in season, use the frozen variety. Add the okra in towards the end. I’ll remind you when I get to that point.

There are many components to this dish but they compliment each other beautifully. Using the best ingredients you can find makes a difference in the finished dish. Let’s get started.

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 30 to 40 minutes (includes pre-cooking sausage, chicken, cleaning the shrimp, and dicing all the vegetables)
Cook Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 47 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 10-inch sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, chef’s knife, 3 medium-size bowls, silicone whisk

Ingredients:
1 pound of Andouille sausage (6 links)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 2 1/2-inch dice
3/4 pound of medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (1 tablespoon for sautéing the *holy trinity)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted
3/4 heaping cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of celery, diced, including leafy tops
1/2 cup of green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup of sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning (1 tablespoon to season the chicken, 1/2 tablespoon to season the shrimp)
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes (substitute diced tomatoes)
1 teaspoon of ground thyme
2 bay leaves
5 1/2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 (15-ounce) package of (cut-style) frozen okra, thawed (optional)
6 to 8 servings of Basmati rice, Success Boil-in-a-Bag, cooked
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
1/4 cup of green onion tops, cut on the bias, for garnish

Directions:
Add the andouille sausage to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to the pan. Place on a tight-fitting lid and bring the sausage links up to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

In the meantime dice the *holy trinity, onions, celery, and green bell peppers. Next is to mince the garlic for the dish. Transfer to a large platter and set aside.

Next, remove all the liquid from the pan, place the pan back over the heat allowing the sausage links to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, transfer the links to a cutting board to cool down before slicing them on the bias. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

On a meat-safe board cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces. Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon of Creole seasoning, toss to coat. Using the same pan, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chicken to the hot pan, cook, flipping the pieces of chicken occasionally, allowing them to brown on all sides. This process takes about 15 minutes. Transfer the seared chicken to a bowl. Set aside.

Next, is to peel and devein the shrimp. This takes about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Season with 1/2 tablespoon of Creole seasoning. Set aside. The shrimp will be the last ingredient that gets added to this dish.

The *roux is a very important player for a great gumbo. This is where the labor of love for this dish comes in to play. A dark peanut butter color is what I’m looking for. This means going past the blonde stage (blonde in color) for a standard *roux.

In a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Using a silicone whisk, slowly add the flour, whisking continuously, until the butter/oil mixture absorbs the raw flour in a paste-like and smooth consistency. At this point, the *roux will start to bubble.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to whisk for 3 to 5 minutes the *roux will start turning light caramel in color. Switch to a rubber spatula. Scrape down all the sides and bottom of the pan. Again, continue to whisk,  you’re looking for the *roux to turn a dark peanut butter color, this may take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes.

In a preheated Dutch oven over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the onions, ground thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. After the onions start to soften, add the diced celery, green bell pepper, and minced garlic. Stirring occasionally cook for 5 to 7 minutes. At this point add the tomato paste, stir to combine. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Using a spatula, transfer the *roux to the Dutch oven, stir to coat the vegetables. Add the andouille sausage, chicken, fire-roasted tomatoes with the juice, and 2 bay leaves, stir to combine.

Next for the liquid. Continue over medium heat, add chicken stock, stir to combine. Bring all this up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer. Occasionally stirring, cook for 30 to 35 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, add the shrimp and thawed frozen okra. Cook for another 5 minutes.

At this point, the sauce will have thickened. Remove from the heat, cover to keep hot.

I like serving my Louisiana-Style Gumbo over Basmati. Right before serving, garnish with sliced green onion tops and Italian flat-leaf parsley.

*holy trinity:  The holy trinity of Cajun cooking consists of onions, bell peppers, and celery, the base for much of the cooking in the regional cuisines of Louisiana.

*Roux: a roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.

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